Colourful mural gives buildings and wine industry hope

A mural paying tribute to the SA wine industry was created on the walls of two derelict Loop Street buildings.

A colourful new mural on the old, derelict Madame Zingara buildings in Loop Street has been created to pay homage to the South African wine industry.

The Loop Street building before the mural went up.

The project was the brainchild of Sarah Krone of Robinson & Sinclair to help shed further light on the #SaveSAWine campaign, run by Erica Taylor of Uncorkified.

They teamed up with Baz-Art, an NPO that creates custom street art projects, to give the heritage buildings a facelift with a message.

The buildings have been in a state of disrepair since a fire broke out in 2006, and there are plans for a mixed-use 15-storey development.

The site had become a nuisance for neighbours, attracting vermin, and being used as a haven for drug peddling.

The #SaveSAWine movement stemmed from a domestic prohibition of alcohol lasting more than four months and a five-week ban on exports during the national coronavirus lockdown.

Ms Krone said as one of the stakeholders, during the alcohol bans and subsequent trading restrictions, they had felt the pressure, stress and fear among the wineries they represent.

“Being an export company, our sales team spends the majority of their time jet-setting around the globe, actively selling to 26 different countries. This culture of travel took a huge knock with all of us trying to find our feet on Zoom, Teams and many other meeting platforms.

“In this time I started following the #SaveSAwine campaign on Facebook and I had this idea to create a visual representation of the pride that I felt when I read those posts. People all over the world were posting pictures of drinking South African wines and talking about what made them love the wines or the stories. This is a platform that we have not had before and I wanted to do something that would keep it alive, draw attention to what makes us great.”

She said she then contacted #SaveSAwine and reached Erica Taylor from Uncorkified who manages the Facebook page.

“Erica was immediately excited about this idea and her endless energy and passion for South African wines gave the project the spark that it needed. We were lucky enough to have partnered up with Baz-Art who also loved the idea and did their utmost to guide, assist and explore this project with us.”

With a wine shop across the road, the building was chosen because of location, and, “It was also very obviously in dire need of some TLC”.

With permission from the owners, Spitzkop Karoo Properties, they applied to Heritage Western Cape but the proposal was rejected as it was considered “undesirable on a Grade 3A Heritage building”.

Sarah said they then contacted private architects, who helped them state their case. “We also had to get permission from CIBRA (City Bowl Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association) which was seamless and very well supported.”

Wayne Beukes working on the mural.

The mural was painted by Mitchell’s Plain artist Wayne Beukes of Baz-Art, who goes by his artist name Waynebks, and took 10 days to complete.

“The centre of the mural is inspired by Groot Constantia with old local pinotage vines snaking their way throughout the entire artwork to tie it all together. There are nods to Cape Town through the use of vibrant iconic fynbos, with mountains peeking out of each corner of the building,” said Waynebks.

“The left-hand side of the bottom wall is inspired by WWF’s beautiful local logo, a sugarbird on a protea. The right-hand bottom wall is representative of the South African wine industry transformation unit, who are doing really important work in supporting black management and ownership in wine cellars, wine businesses, and industry organisations.

“Their artwork features a woman with the light shining on her face, surrounded by stylized components of all their black, female-owned wine brands’ logos.”

Waynebks said the implementation of the mural went smoothly with, “fresh air, sunshine and bright colours”.

“During the creation, so many people walking past stopped to ask questions and have chats about the mural and the history of Madam Zingara.”

Ms Krone said the mural is one of many that #SaveSAWines plan to roll out in future.

“The goal with this project was to draw attention to the South African wine industry. This project was not about taking our cap in hand to plead for support but to boldly show what can be achieved as a team.

“We are by no means finished with the project, the sky is the limit and we want to repeat the project in all the top SA wine importing countries like Germany, USA and in the UK.

The CapeTowner was unable to reach the owners of the building.